Niagara University, N.Y. -- The Youngstown State men's basketball team utilized a late second-half run that turned a tightly-contested game into an 88-70 victory over Niagara on Saturday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
The Penguins, who have won three straight, improved to 3-4 while the Purple Eagles fall to 2-5.
Five players scored in double figures led by senior Bobby Hain, who was just one assist away from the first triple-double in school history. Hain recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds and dished out nine assists with two blocks
Sophomore Francisco Santiago scored 15 points with six rebounds while junior Jorden Kaufman posted 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Junior Matt Donlan and freshman Latin Davis added 12 and 11 points, respectively
Leading Niagara was Emile Blackman with 23 points, Matt Scott scored 13 points and Chris Barton and Justin Satchell had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Penguins led by just one, 65-64, but used a 17-0 run over a seven minute span to boost their lead to 18, 82-64, with 4:09 left in the game. Jumpers by Santiago and Kaufman and a 3-pointer by Santiago and a jumper by Hain pushed the lead to double figures, 74-64, with 8:13 to go.
A pair of 3-pointers by Davis and Donlan and a layup by Hain gave the Penguins an 82-64 lead with just over four minutes to go.
The Penguins held the Purple Eagles scoreless for nearly nine minutes and without a field for nearly 10 minutes. Barton made two free throws with 2:25 left to end the Purple Eagles' scoring drought and a layup by Blackman with 1:26 to go was their first made field goal since the 11:17 mark.
In the first half, the Penguins held a lead of no more than four points for the first nine minutes before jumping out to an eight-point lead 32-24 with 7:20 to go on a tip-in by Kaufman.
The Purple Eagles, who made eight first-half 3-pointers and 10 for the game, used a 12-3 run to take a 36-35 lead at the 4:18 mark.
For the game, the Penguins shot 49.3 percent from the floor and made 10 3-pointers. YSU also committed just four turnovers and had 18 assists.
The Penguins host Robert Morris, Wednesday, Dec. 2, at the Beeghly Center. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.